Kung Fu Fridays in June

The month's new poster features probably my favorite contemporary martial arts star, Donnie Yen. The image is from the promotional material for Ip Man, for which he got many accolades, even though the Donnie Yen movie I planned to show was Dragon Tiger Gate. And then I was given Ip Man as a gift, so guess what change I made to the line-up of films shown at my house every Friday this month?

Ip Man - The name (and story) of Bruce Lee's master, the first man to openly teach the martial art of Wing Chun (so it has nothing to do with Internet Protocol). Donnie Yen partners with his usual director, Wilson Yip, as well as Kill Zone co-star Simon Yamm and action choreographer Sammo Hung. This is all good news.

Above the Law - A strong dose of 80s cheese should come with this Yuen Biao/Cynthia Rothrock vehicle about a lawyer who takes the law into his own hands. Some guys take you to People's Court. Yuen Biao kicks your ass with his kung fu. Note that this KFF will actually be on Saturday, because most of us are walking the Relay for Life.

Dog Bite Dog - I think a KFF regular complained that we hadn't seen any "pure fight" movies recently (in favor of police tragedies and wuxia, presumably), so I've really loaded the dice in June. Which seems unnecessary after Fist of Fury/Fist of Legend last week. But here we are. Dog Bite Dog looks to be big on fights, but I expect it to be a violent noir police thriller as well. Apparently so dark as to be called nihilistic. Leave your joie de vivre at the door.

Battle of the Warriors - And we end the month on a historical "Warring States of China" picture featuring one of my favorite Chinese actors, Andy Lau. The better Hong Kong title is "A Battle of Wits" and it has a convoluted pedigree, being based on a manga, in turn based on a Japanese novel inspired by Chinese history.



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